Over the last decade Apple has battled to make tablets and other personal digital devices one of the most explosive growth markets. According to Intel’s forecast, earth will be populated by more than 15 million connected devices spread among 3 billion users by 2015. Furthermore, Forrester Research forecasts that about a third of all adults in the US and Europe will own a tablet by 2016. So where is this tech giant leading us? What path are we being taken down in this post-PC world? Is this the prelude to the era of technological singularity?
There is currently no consensus on how closely the brain should be simulated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Technological singularity is the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. In this direction is artificial intelligence, direct brain-computer interfaces, biological augmentation of the brain, genetic engineering, ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain followed by computer emulation. These emerging technologies will arrive at different times independently, but will comprehensively reach a threshold level of sophistication that will enable the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence.
Singularity is beyond huge, but it can begin with something small. If one smarter-than-human intelligence exists, that mind will find it easier to create still smarter minds. In this respect the dynamic of the Singularity resembles other cases where small causes can have large effects; toppling the first domino in a chain, starting an avalanche with a pebble, perturbing an upright object balanced on its tip. (Human technological civilization occupies a metastable state in which the Singularity is an attractor; once the system starts to flip over to the new state, the flip accelerates.) All it takes is one technology – Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or perhaps something unforeseen – that advances to the point of creating smarter-than-human minds. That one technological advance is the equivalent of the first self-replicating chemical that gave rise to life on Earth.
- Ray Kurzweil…and the singularity (afetteredmind.com)
- ~transcendent man~ (thewanderingfaun.wordpress.com)